Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wondering...The Dirty Pretty Things Story and Show # 218

In September of 2005 Carl Barat (former guitarist/singer/song writer in the UK band The Libertines) formed the group known as Dirty Pretty Things. Signing to a UK label (Vertigo Records) Barat assembled a band with Gary Powell (ex-Libertines drummer) on drums, Anthony Rossamando on guitar (who was a fill-in for ex-Libertine Pete Doherty on some of the bands last tour dates), and Didz Hammond on bass (he left the group Cooper Temple Clause to join). Originally Barat's new group went by the name The Bearded Clam Lovers Experience, but changed names to Dirty Pretty Things. In October of 2005 Dirty Pretty Things began playing live gigs in France and Italy. The bands sound was not like the Libertines, it had much more of a punk edge/influence.

The band then entered a studio in Los Angeles, California with producer Dave Sardy to begin recording material; They also recorded material with producer Tony Doogan in Glasgow, Scotland. The first evidence of DPT material was the song "You Fucking Love It". The song was made available on a CD that came with the UK magazine NME in April of 2006. The song itself was a fast-paced raging punk song. Shortly after in April, DPT released their first official single "Bang Bang You're Dead". The song begins with a trumpet intro and then launches into dirty guitar riffs and travelling basslines. Initially people thought that because of the lyrics that this song was about former Libertine Pete Doherty, but this was later proven wrong by Carl Barat in an interview; It went to #4 on the UK singles charts. The album itself came out in May of 2006 in the UK and did very well on the British album charts reaching #3; It was titled Waterloo To Anywhere.

The album contained twelve tracks. It starts of with the song "Deadwood", which would also be the bands second single; It reached #20 on the UK singles charts. Other great tracks included "Blood Thirsty Bastards", "Doctors and Dealers", "Gin & Milk", "The Gentry Cove", and "Last of The Small Town Playboys". One of my favourite tracks is the song "Enemy". The song itself is dominated by chunky basslines in the verses and in the choruses the guitars come in roaring with energy. It also contains the brilliant lyric "Isn't it time you washed your face/It looks like a burnt out fireplace", while the chorus states that "The enemy as I know it is right inside my head". Lyrically the album is dark and witty, while the music blares with the energy of 70's British punk. Waterloo To Anywhere was released in the US in August of 2006; It charted at #200 on the US albums charts. The third single from the album was the song "Wondering"; It went to #34 on the UK singles charts.

The band toured intensively behind this album playing the South By Southwest Festival, Isle of Wight Festival, and T in the Park to name a few. They also toured with the likes of Muse, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Hurricanes, and The Paddingtons. In the summer of 2006, Barat broke his collarbone due to a fall from a motorbike. To continue touring Barat put his arm in a sling and got Paddingtons guitarist Josh Hubbard to play his guitar parts, while Barat sang. A DVD release came next in October of 2006. Puffing on A Coffin Nail which was a live performance plus documentaries of the band and bonus live material. In September of 2007, DPT contributed the song "Radio Song" for the film soundtrack Run Fatboy Run. The song was a more pop influenced track that came off sounding heavily Clash influenced. They also contributed the acoustic-dreary song "9 Lives" to the Love Music Hate Racism compilation.

In June of 2008 Romance At Short Notice, Dirty Pretty Things second full length album was released in the UK. The title of the album is believed to be a reference from the short story The Open Window by British writer Saki. Originally the album was rumoured to be titled This is Where the Truth Begins. The first single from the album was the nostalgic pop song "Tired of England". The song itself is said to have a chorus similar to the Smiths song "Panic"; It went to #54 on the UK album charts. The album reached #35 on the UK album charts. Despite the fact that the album did not do as well chart wise in the UK as did Waterloo To Anywhere in no way takes away from the quality of DPT's second album. It is uniquely crafted album mixing styles of British Pop, Garage Rock, Mod and 70's Punk; It sounds heavily influenced by early Pink Floyd in my opinion. It starts off with the song "Buzzards and the Crows" which is twisting rock song that sounds like it is being played at a carnival. "Hippy's Son" comes next it is a heavy dragging rock song. Other great rockers include "Kicks Or Consumption", and "Best Face". The album isn't all rock, it also features songs such as "Plastic Hearts" one of the catchiest songs every written by DPT. Acoustic numbers such as "Come Closer", "The North" (written with and featuring vocals from guitarist Rossamando, and bassist Hammond), "Truth Begins" and "Blood on My Shoes". Currently Romance At Short Notice is not available in the US and it is unlikely that it will be.

On October 1st, 2008 Dirty Pretty Things announced that after their current tour commitments, they would be splitting up. The statement was as follows on the bands official website:

It is with some sadness we announce the farewell of the Dirty Pretty Things. It's been a glorious three years which we all would gladly live out again, but it is time for us to try new things. (not The Libertines). We are reluctant to give up touring but will give the last waltz everything. We have and are determined to go out as we came in, after which we all have other ventures to be getting on with and splendid future plans. Heartfelt thanks to all who made it what it was, much love and we'll see you on the road.

While Dirty Pretty Things seem to be ending I urge you all to check out the two albums that they have released. They were an interesting British rock band. While some critics and fans refuse to let Carl free from the shackles of his days with the Libertines, he has provided the world with music (in my opinion) that is just as interesting, exciting, and amazing as his previous efforts.

For more information on the band you can visit:

Dirty Pretty Things Official Website
Dirty Pretty Things Myspace Page

This Week's Play List:

1. Dirty Pretty Things - Buzzards & Crows
2. Dirty Pretty Things - The Weekenders
3. Dirty Pretty Things - 9 Lives
4. Dirty Pretty Things - The Enemy
5. Pastels - Ditch the Fool
6. Pavement - Date With Ikea
7. Arctic Monkeys - From the Ritz to the Rubble
8. Franz Ferdinand - Shopping For Blood
9. The Rapture - Coming of Spring
10. Radio 4 - Caroline
11. Slander - Peticoat Junction
12. Gentlemen of Horror - Overhead Projector
13. The Smugglers - Luau!
14. The Cinch - She's Cracked
15. Guided By Voices - Teenage FBI
16. The Libertines - Last Post On The Bugle
17. Marble Index - I Believe
18. Young Rival - Another Nobody
19. The Nines - Take What You Want
20. The Subways - All or Nothing
21. Raconteurs - Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)(Live Austin City Limits)
22. The D4 - Baby in a Box (John Peel Session)
23. Sloan - Ana Lucia
24. Supergrass - Rush Hour Soul

To download this week's show visit the CJAM archives and select the files 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM on October 14th, 2008.

Dirty Pretty Videos:

You Fucking Love It
Bang Bang You're Dead
Tired of England
Gentry Cove (Live Jools Holland)
Plastic Hearts (Live At the Wireless 2008)
Bang Bang You're Dead (Live on Letterman)
The Enemy (Live)

As a bonus I found this wonderful mini-concert The Raconteurs did in September that is really cool.

The Raconteurs - Live Austin City Limits September 17, 2006:

1. Level
2. Together
3. Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
4. Blue Veins
5. Headin' For the Texas Border


Candy said...

I stumbled upon this lovely review of yours and all I can say that it's wonderful and totally does the wonder Dirty Pretty Things justice. I'm a recent fan of them - I just can't stop listening to them. They're amazing. I really wish they'd get back together.

Thanks for posting such wonderfully solid review. :)

Dave said...

Thanks for the kind words. When I got their first album, waterloo to anywhere I couldnt stop listening to it.